Outdoor summer entertainment is not complete without a fire pit. There is nothing better than a fun backyard party ending with s’mores and enjoying yourself. Eight hundred landscape architects were surveyed and said that fire pits and fireplaces are the most requested outdoor additions. This is why it is important to prioritize fire pit safety before the season gets into full swing. Here are some tips to keep you safe this summer:

● Get Approval
○ Make sure that it is permitted to have a fire pit in your area. Some cities have restrictions on when or if you even can have an open fire. Certain weather and air quality conditions are not suitable for open fires. Checking with local authorities is always a good idea.

● Location, location, location
○The first step in safety is ensuring the fire pit is in the correct location. Make sure it is flat, spacious, and not close to the house. They should be at least 10 feet away from the house or any other structure you have. It is not advised to place a pit on a wooden deck. Also, think about how the wind blows because solid gusts of wind could cause a fire hazard.

● The type of wood is important
○ Not all types of wood are the same. Fire experts recommend not using pressurized wood because it sometimes contains toxins that can release noxious fumes when it is lit. Stick to oak, maple, cherry, or hickory woods. Never burn plastic, construction debris, treated lumber, or tires. These materials contain toxins that are harmful when burnt.

● Light Carefully
○ Take precautions when you light your fire. It is easy for fires to get out of control quickly if they are not lit properly. It would help if you did not use gasoline, kerosene, or other flammable liquids on fires in pits.

● Use a Screen
○Screens can prevent injury from out-of-control fires or flying sparks. Certain areas will even require you to use a fire pit screen on open flames. To keep the fire contained, use cast-iron or steel fire pit screens.

● Insurance
○ Before you decide to invest in adding a fire pit to your backyard, check with your insurance agency. There could impact your homeowner policy, and it could require you to increase your coverage. You also need to review liability insurance if a guest gets injured or the fire damages a neighbor’s property.


Photo by Josh Campbell on Unsplash